Kyle Williams is a player full of promise.
The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver has flashed some exciting potential during his first few years in the NFL. The setbacks, however, have come almost as often. From an untimely fumble to a season-ending injury, it seems like he takes two steps back for every step forward.
Coming off of an ACL tear, Williams is facing an uphill battle this offseason as he attempts to keep a roster spot that’s anything but a lock for the young 49ers pass-catcher.
On Tuesday, Williams ran for the first time since tearing his ACL back in late November.
Despite his apparent progress, there’s a lot going against Williams this offseason that might force the 49ers to sever ties.
First, Williams might not be at full speed in time for the beginning of the regular season. If the 49ers can’t get a feel for the type of impact he can have in 2013, they might decide to go a different route in filling out their wide receiver depth chart.
Second, the amount of talent that the 49ers have at wide receiver could make him expendable. With Michael Crabtree and recently-acquired Anquan Boldin at the top of the depth chart, there will be a logjam in the competition for the remaining backup spots. While Mario Manningham is coming back from his own injury, he’s likely to lock down a spot. The 49ers are hoping to see more out of 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins this year as well. If the 49ers bring in another wide receiver via the 2013 NFL Draft, Williams could be left on the outside looking in when final cuts roll around.
There’s no denying what Williams potentially brings to the field for the 49ers when he’s at 100 percent. Coming off of a serious knee injury, though, could cost him time to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. If he falls behind the rest of the pack, he could end up being the odd man out.
In the end, it all comes down to whether or not Williams can get healthy and stay there.